Jim Denison on Rashida Tlaib and the Controversy With Israel

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to a question from a constituent in Wixom, Mich., Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Here’s the article I wish I were writing today: the daughter of Palestinian immigrants is elected to the United States Congress, shining a light on the significance of Palestinian people everywhere. She returns to the West Bank to visit her elderly grandmother and to inspire the Palestinians with her example of hard work and success.

But here’s the narrative I am required by the facts to write instead.


Rashida Tlaib serves in the US House of Representatives from Michigan’s Thirteenth District. Before her election to Congress, she was the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan state legislature.

Rep. Tlaib has been extremely critical of Israel. She has called for an end to US aid to Israel and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions program. This a Palestinian-led campaign promoting boycotts against Israel, the divesting of investments in the State of Israel, and sanctions against the Israeli government.

After dozens of lawmakers participated in a congressional delegation to Israel, Rep. Tlaib and her colleague and fellow Muslim, Rep. Ilhan Omar, decided to make their own trip. It was planned by Miftah, a group the Washington Post and the New York Times described as headed by a longtime peace negotiator and working to promote global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities.

However, as David French notes in the National ReviewMiftah is actually an anti-Semitic organization that frequently produces vitriolic, hateful rhetoric. For instance, it published a neo-Nazi treatise condemning “the Jew-controlled entertainment media” and claiming that “to permit the Jews, with their 3,000-year history of nation-wrecking . . . to hold such power over us is tantamount to race suicide.”

Miftah honored two female suicide bombers and celebrated a woman who helped murder thirteen Israeli children during a 1978 military operation. And it has questioned whether Israel is a proper homeland for the Jewish people.


Rep. Tlaib announced her desire to visit her elderly grandmother in the West Bank, but the Israeli government, mindful of her repeated criticisms of their country and policies, denied her entry.

The next day, Israeli authorities stated that the congresswoman could enter if she refrained from criticizing their country. She agreed, then changed her position, claiming that she could not make the trip under “these oppressive conditions.” She said of her grandmother, “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me.”

Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Omar, who was also barred for the same reasons from entering Israel, have also posted two cartoons by an artist who participated in Iran’s annual Holocaust cartoon contest in 2006. The artist has often compared Israel to the Nazi regime.

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Source: Christian Headlines